ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Bahrain put up a solid showing in the third quarter and won 95-74 thus spoiling hosts Mongolia’s hopes of scoring a win in their maiden appearance in FIBA Asia U18 Championships on the opening day of the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship on Friday. Chinese Taipei had beaten Indonesia 99-44 in the other Group B game.
In other action of a monotonous opening day that went on form and fame, all fancied teams – including the semifinalists of the 21st FIBA Asia Championship at Sana’A (Yemen) – scoring convincing victories.
The game featuring Mongolia obviously draw the largest crowd of the day and the home team too seemed to justify the faith reposed in them with an enthusiastic and effervescent display.
There was a determined approach that relied more on hard work than any fancy play, and the nervy approach that one normally associates with a debutant was certainly conspicuous by absence.
But as the game progressed, Mongolia’s inexperience began to show and when Bahrain launched a 13-3 run to close the third quarter, the hosts’ bag of tricks had run dry.
Easy start for China, Korea
China and Korea the two teams who fought for the gold medal at the 21st FIBA Asia Championship at Sana’A (Yemen) two years ago, didn’t raise much sweat in opening their campaigns with a win.
China, led by Wang Zhelin’s tall presence, ran Hong Kong roughshod before winning 153-47 in Group A and Korea took charge of the proceedings early on against archrivals Japan and won 91-69 in Group B.
Iran began their quest to regain their top place in this competition in a whirlwind manner beating Kazakhstan 105-46 in Group D. Chinese Taipei who beat Iran in the bronze medal play-off at Sana’A two years ago also brooked no challenge in their 99-44 triumph against Indonesia.
Lebanon was the only team to suffer, and survive, a scare when they were stretched to the wire by India before scraping through 65-61 by the skin of their teeth.
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